Tuesday, March 27, 2012

World to Assad: “Leave the Gun! Take the Cannoli!”!

The policies and pronouncements of world leaders vis-à-vis developments in Syria make clear that they are more interested in offering to re-legitimize the Assad regime through a new political arrangement, than in paving the way for true democratic transition. In exchange for a two-hour cessation of hostilities each day, and some vague promises of dialog, the Assads can be considered legitimate again. What Cannoli!

Monday March 26, 2012

Death Toll: 76, most of whom fell under the continuous bombardment of Old Homs neighborhoods. Pro-Assad death squads also forcibly evacuated inhabitants of neighborhood of Qoussour. To the North, the towns of Kfrazeiteh, Karnaz and Madeeq, Hama Province, were also subjected to heavy pounding. In the Northeast, clashes took place in Jourah neighborhood in Deir Ezzor City, as well as in the town of Jarzi.

In Idlib Province, and according to local reports, two British journalists of Algerian descent were reportedly killed in an operation conducted by Assad loyalists.

Syrian authorities issued a new regulation requiring all male citizens ages 18-42 to report to the military recruitment office for permission to travel outside the country. None will be allowed to travel without such permission until the regulation is suspended.

Op-Eds & Special Reports
“Pathetically, the lessons of Bosnia are being ignored. Refusing to arm the opposition will not end the conflict or limit it; it will drag on. Establishing safe havens means inserting possible hostages and establishing killing fields — remember Srebrenica (8,000 Muslims massacred)? Assad, chillingly, has plenty of chemical weapons. They need to be secured... But the creep toward real involvement — a virtual plea to the black-hearted Assad to have a heart — has to stop. Obama dawdles, and lives are being lost. In Libya, Obama led from behind. In Syria, he’s not leading at all.”

Violence continues to escalate in Syria, despite continuing pressure on President Bashar al-Assad by the United Nations to halt attacks, which include shelling in the city of Homs. Last week the Security Council, including Russia and China, issued a presidential statement calling for unspecified “further steps” if the Assad regime fails to commit to a cease-fire. And this weekend, concerned nations will meet in Turkey. What should be done next?

This is my own hawkish take on the situation
Half-hearted calls for dialogue with Assad communicate to him that the international community will once again confer legitimacy on his regime once he’s done killing those who support democratic reforms.
And this is my friend Michael Weiss’s take
The United States must now begin marshaling a coalition for regime change in Syria.

President Obama, this is happening on your watch http://youtu.be/GmyiUTHb5YY , http://youtu.be/_ObQmNMpxdg , http://youtu.be/J8NE3PbbmHg

Video Highlights

Old Homs: the pounding claims more children – Bayadah http://youtu.be/OZGnmvPRlF0 , http://youtu.be/hFW66tQlRgQ and teenagers http://youtu.be/nmqxr7wPnvs and young men http://youtu.be/oNW_2yqDRbU , http://youtu.be/9KT7nB5C2k4 A woman is found dead in the streets, next to her daughter stunned, wounded, a man in a nearby car is dead – These are scenes from the Apocalypse http://youtu.be/_Sj2dPyUYOI Shells can fall anytime anywhere http://youtu.be/dto0b1sT3HE The Sarajevozation of Homs continues http://youtu.be/GmyiUTHb5YY , http://youtu.be/_ObQmNMpxdg , http://youtu.be/GvhxvoeOJqY , http://youtu.be/32iSJpmDl00 , http://youtu.be/zpmFONTcLdw , http://youtu.be/g9dLuAZc_M8 , http://youtu.be/9Eap7elqRuk Local shop catches fire http://youtu.be/RgibFV_UD5A Preparing the dead for burial http://youtu.be/GYqHbBzKZDw , http://youtu.be/3_r81PTT6Vg

At one point, the Vatican accused local rebels of driving the Christians out of Boustan Al-Diwan and Hamidiyeh on the basis of anonymous reports it received. In reality, however, Christian families, like so many Sunni families, have left the neighborhood to avoid this http://youtu.be/9_N_r0ToIm8 , http://youtu.be/X2yIrhQJO2A that is, the pounding of their neighborhood, including the local historic church, by Assad loyalist troops. Luckily, the Vatican site soon rephrased the report. Still, this report in Arabic still refers to the old version. The incident underscores the ability of the Assads to manipulate the truth by playing on the prevalent prejudices and fears of many in the international community.

In Idlib Province, the pounding of restive towns continues: Kafrenbel http://youtu.be/_4X2GZKs918 where a local shop catches fire http://youtu.be/_fJUpyUgew4 Ma’arrat Al-Nouman http://youtu.be/ig9IbG6Wfmc

A unit affiliated with the Popular Resistance Block carries out an attack on a loyalist checkpoint in the suburb of Arbeen, Damascus Province http://youtu.be/lAuyzYTpWc4 , http://youtu.be/9K7lzaQgl_8  

Earlier in the day, in Zabadani, the sounds of intense daytime clashes between the local resistance and loyalist troops can be heard in the distance http://youtu.be/pFISSt90IV8 The clashes were triggered by a loyalist raid in search of local activists http://youtu.be/mA-sOrfcX_s , http://youtu.be/SPVdsdpkaik

In the Damascene suburb of Douma, locals hold mass funeral http://youtu.be/7rrp-oih1cI

In Deraa Province, the town of Da’el is pounded http://youtu.be/8zd9X_VnXyI , http://youtu.be/ug1cWIYZZg0 Nearby Tafas receives its fair share http://youtu.be/-k-IHc2tCxY

In Madeeq, Hama Province, the ancient citadel remains a favorite target of loyalists, especially the historic mosque connected to it http://youtu.be/29EMhrferR8 , http://youtu.be/Rdzcgugk_10 , http://youtu.be/su62p3ofp_Y

The inhabitants of Dirbassiyeh bury their dead activist, Juan Qatana http://youtu.be/H94XDWMXi5U

Leaked video shows snipers having fun in Aleppo’s Atareb http://youtu.be/r9daa4ZwbSc